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How the hell does one get out of retail?

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by SkiPharmer, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer

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    I am not posting for myself but I have a lot of friends who are miserable in retail! For those of you who got out, how did you do it? Network like mad? Go back to do a residency?
  2. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine

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    Network like mad
  3. gotgame740

    gotgame740

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    apparently there's some kind of residency equivalency test you can take. one of the pharmacists I work with said she's gonna do this and get out of retail. She's been at WAGs for over 12 years. I had no idea you could do this until yesterday
  4. BMBiology

    BMBiology on maternity leave

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    You should have asked this question during pharmacy school my friend
  5. Travex

    Travex

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    I assume she means a bps certification in pharmacotherapy. I am 99% sure she's wrong by the way. First of all, retail work does not technically qualify you to take the test (you need 3+ years experience at a job where at least 50% of your activities is pharmacotherapy). Sometimes they don't check and if they do you can argue it especially if you have MTM or other services. Regardless... you should keep in mind that a residency is generally considered to be as good as ~3 years of clinical experience. There is no way that passing any test is going to convince any employer that you are just as good as someone who did an actual residency.
  6. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    Lmoa... 3 years of clinical experience. Every time I hear that my eyes roll way back into my head.

    Hospital sucks just as much. Replace the bitchy customers with bitchy nurses. Replace insurance calls with med rec sheets. You get paid less, too. I went from 50:50 clinical:staff to overnight pharmacy in retail (I fell ass backwards into it, let's be honest) and all I know is that I have half the stress and about 40% more pay.

    Working clinical isn't that hard. Back during the shortage, they plucked retail pharmacists out of their situations and had them going in a few months. The world didn't end. Now people act like it's a horrific idea and spending 11months staring at clinical guidelines and doing some junior scientist of the month poster nonsense actually magically makes you "worthy." Give me a damn break.
  7. BelowTheMean

    BelowTheMean Member

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    Totally agree! The schools make it as if residency = 3 years of clinical experience. No...no it doesnt. Will you get more knowledge? Yes. Is it equal to 3 yrs of knowledge? hell no. You learn stuff by working and experience. Reading guidelines and journal clubs and making posters is not going to magically give someone extra experience. My friend was a retail pharmacist for like 7 yrs and transferred to hospital back in the early 2000s when there were still jobs. Took him a few months to adjust but now he's working alongside residents and training them.

    People tend to forget that all pharmacists were in the same class learning the same darn things and passed the same boards. Just because someone chose to do a 5th year of rotations doesnt give them 3 yrs experience over someone who has been working hospital for that same year.
  8. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    sounds like a really sh*tty residency.
  9. metrarx

    metrarx

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    Agree. However, just like with all these new, awful schools, residency is following the same trend.
  10. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member

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    Clinical=Memorizing guidelines and we all proved we could memorize junk in school.
  11. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    This is why I'm so glad I didn't match for a residency because I was so close to falling for the scam. I'm learning on the job now how much BS is involved in residencies and I really feel sorry for current residents. They're being taken for a ride at a salary discount and don't even know it.
  12. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer

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    THIS is one of the best posts I've ever read! Pharmacy residencies are a joke...you don't learn a new skill (as MDs do) and you get paid less afterwards....sign me up!
  13. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    Truth be told I'd probably be bitter/anti-residency had I not matched.

    But like I've said before, I'm pragmatic...residency was my fastest ticket into the super saturated San Francisco inpatient market and I don't buy the "equivalent 3 years" crap either.

    I got a year of on the job training and the cachet of residency with good job prospects...and I didn't have to move to Texas/Midwest to do it.

    Can anyone fault me for that one?
  14. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    You make it sound like that's a bad thing. Austin > San Francisco.
  15. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    I've heard good...actually great things about Austin. I only brought up Texas because that's the only other place i'm 100% sure there are plenty of jobs.

    I'm a California native son born and raised, among other things. I'd have faced additional costs and logistical challenges had I not moved back.
  16. npage148

    npage148 Senior Member

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    So, it's not about building knowledge, it's about an job
    Ticket. Get paid 1/3 your real pay for 1-2 years and maybe get a job you couldn't get before.
  17. Bier9999

    Bier9999

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    First of all, pharmacy is miserable from the top office of the CEO to the bottom janitor who cleans your bathroom. However, I hope your boatloads of friends don't come into the hospital field just because they think it would be easier than retail. I worked on both sides of the fence and if your friends cannot tolerate standing on their feet 13 hours yet making 20% more than us hospital. What are they going to do when you only have two hands but they can either do one of the following: levophed IV , answering an attending phone call, or verifying that labetalol IV for the 3 month old and all three nurses want it stat?
  18. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    Key word there is "maybe". I know many retail pharmacists that did a PGY-1 and couldn't find a job.

    What I find so embarrassing is the word "residency" as if it's the pharmacy equivalent to what an MD/DO does during a residency. Such BS.
  19. KARM12

    KARM12 Super Member

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    Doing a residency gave me a better schedule...I would not have my current position without it. I work the hours I want and have 4 weeks of vacation (having only been employed at my institution for 2 yrs). I don't have to deal with stupid RN calls, checking IVs, or anything like that. I'd much rather do clinical work as a pharmacist than retail or basement hospital.
  20. TheBlaah

    TheBlaah

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    Residency simply means a period of advanced training following graduation, and from what I hear, pharmacy residencies remain true to that.

    Whether a person wants to compare it to a MD/DO residency is their own problem.
  21. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    knowledge was secondary.

    unless you're one of the people above who says we don't learn anything in residency, then it's not on the list.
  22. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    well what do you wanna call it? MD/DO's call it residency, DDS/DMD's call it residency, DJ's call it residency (as in DJ Pauly D is doing is residency at Haze in Las Vegas). Why not pharmacy? Keep it consistent. We're not special.
  23. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    We think we're special. On student research posters MD/DOs call themselves MS, OS, or medical student. DDS call themselves dental students. Vets call themselves veterinary students. Pharmacists call themselves PharmD Candidates. There's no reason to keep it consistent when they are two different things. Residencies are glorified rotations for pharmacists.
  24. farmadiazepine

    farmadiazepine

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    If you want to get out of retail, you should really ask yourself WHY?!

    If you are working for CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, or any other major chain, then that may be part of the problem. Retail is not the same everywhere. Yes, it is the same from chain to chain to chain, but when you get outside the chain and start working at privately owned pharmacies, retail is probably the best gig you can ever work as an RPh, in my opinion.

    I worked for multiple independent pharmacies, and every place has been a pleasure. I currently for an independent that pays extremely well, much more than any other chain retail pharmacist I know, and it is the best experience I have ever had working as an RPh.

    So if you totally HATE retail, ask yourself, "Am I working for a chain?" and if so, consider finding a privately owned pharmacy to work for. It is much more rewarding.
  25. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    Want to know what the difference is?

    Physicians, Dentists, and Vets can actually go on to work for themselves and their residencies are always a road to specialization. That minimal pay isn't necessarily going to make them employees, but independent business owners. A hospital paying them a minimal salary for their work is acceptable.

    But here's the important part and why I despise the idea of residencies - a pharmacist is being trained to be the employee of someone. The vast majority of the time, anyway. Residencies are basically a means to get people to go through a training program at 1/3 of the cost. Any other industry, they pay you what you will be making once you get settled in at the onset. Used to be that pharmacists wanting to go a hospital/clinical route graduated, got a job, and worked their way up. Clinical managers used to just be BS Pharm holders with a ton of practical experience. And they were paid a working pro's salary from walking at graduation to retirement. Not this indentured servitude nonsense that we've collectively accepted hook line and sinker.

    We've just accepted losing $60,000 or more for the CEOs of every hospital in the country. That's all. Throw out titles, the warm and fuzzy prestige bullpoo, whatever you want. The bottom line is the same. Pharmacists are pretty much going to wind up doing what they do either way...and will get less pay for it. We've shifted the cost of post-graduate training onto ourselves.
  26. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    I do agree with this post (minus the independent business owner thing with physicians - the future is the salaried physician).

    I don't think every resident or aspiring resident is a sheep either. It's hard going against the grain when your preferred practice area or geographic location is at stake. Also I've been getting used to this - I dunno how old you are exactly Mikey but every time someone in my age group enters a different stage in life, this is what we hear from slightly older folk:

    College: "Wow you had XX stats and you only got into XX kinda-prestigious university? Geez...I would never get into my own alma mater now."

    Pharmacy school: repeat above line w/ rx school

    Residency: repeat above line w/residency program

    Work: "Wow...you went to UCSF and did a PGY1 at this XX decent place and all you can get is non-benefitted per diem work in XX small town? Geez...I remember back in the day when someone with half the interest you have would have their pick of clinical manager positions anywhere. Sucks to be you, oh sorry did I say that out loud?"

    It's like...screwed screwed screwed screwed screwed, so I'm playing the game to get what I want. Given how much many of us paid for school... losing $60k for a year doesn't seem so bad. At least this whole hook-up culture thing came about while I was in college (silver lining I suppose). Remember, we are the all singing all dancing crap of the world.
  27. VCU07

    VCU07 Member

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    it always intrigues me when a residency trained pharmacist cant pass BCPS vs an experienced pharmacist that does. I think residencies help get you the clinical experience a bit faster, but in the end your no better than a pharmacist that worked their way up. Schools and many jobs "require" a residency now. its bullsh*t to me. There are jobs in the area that will trash your CV if they don't see residency on it. Pisses me off lol
  28. thephoenician88

    thephoenician88 wat.

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    Do you really think so?

    A residency trained pharmacist should (not that they all will, but should) be able to jump into a clinical position and exceed expectations. If you just pulled someone from retail, you really think they'll be able to just start making interventions? They would hardly know what's available in the IV room.

    Let's say it's a hospital pharmacist, can they work their way up. Sure they can, but what if it's a hospital in a busy city center, you think they'll hire a non-resident? NO. Hospital experience will certainly help you understand what's in the IV room and what's available, hopefully you're accustomed to making interventions.

    Then people say, oh move from retail to a hospital, it's so much better. Yea you may get more "clinical" exposure, but in the end it's the nurses yelling for you and an important call is "where's my welchol"

    Are they glorified rotations? I think if a pharmacist doesn't take the initiative then yes, they are glorified rotations. As a pharmacist though, it's your call on orders/what not to order/what to change, no longer are you just "guessing" and asking your preceptor if it's right.

    Is a residency worth it? I think this is a question everyone has to answer personally. Look at OP, "how can I get out."

    How can you get out? Who would hire you right now, they'd rather hire a residency trained pharmacist over you, even for a staffing position in a hospital.

    The fact is, there are a lot of pharmacists out there, all of which can do the same thing and press "enter to verify" just as much as you, moving on will probably require a residency.

    "mad networking" yea could help, but the residents are also mad networking, that's primarily why they're there. In the end, let's say residency didn't work out, yea you missed out on some money and a year, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't really see it as a huge loss.
  29. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    If only staffing in a hospital was simply understanding what's in the IV room and what's available... what a joke! :laugh:
  30. PharmDstudent

    PharmDstudent

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    Now, to answer the OP, getting out of retail is an exercise in patience.
  31. Trent Steele

    Trent Steele benadryl brownies

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    I know a person that started a PGY-1 after 2 years at CVS, personally I'd keep on applying everywhere all the time rather than take that huge paycut. It will take a while but you'll get some bites eventually.
  32. 297point1

    297point1 Hiatus is over, baby!

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    I am the person saying this...must make me 'slighly older folk' (and I thank you for the 'slightly').

    And in my day everyone was petrified of catching AIDS while hiding behind Champion sweatshirts and parachute pants. Is that progress :confused:
  33. VCU07

    VCU07 Member

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    lol, agreed. Once he/she gets into pharm school, completes 4 yrs, graduates, passes naplex, gets a job, and spends some time working...then they will know.
  34. BelowTheMean

    BelowTheMean Member

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    Oh wow...make interventions. I've personally seen retail pharmacists get hired and make interventions and operate fine as a hospital pharmacist. Come on dude, you act like retail pharmacists graduated from 2 year community college programs. A lot of my retail friends that got out were from top schools like ucsf, ucsd, etc. so don't assume all retail people are complete idiots. Sure they wont know what's in the IV room the first day, but by day 2 im sure they will know. I mean...that's such a hard thing...knowing iv inventory. But since i noticed youre not even in year 2 of pharmacy school yet, it's excusable to be ignorant on what happens in REAL WORLD pharmacy. Keep believing everything the school tells you and you'll go a long way.:)
  35. thephoenician88

    thephoenician88 wat.

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    yes I should have typed up an entire job description of a hospital pharmacist to make it worth your while, how silly of me...

    I'll learn one day ...
    Seriously? You could hand a chart of lab values and drugs to a retail pharmacist who's been there for 5 years and expect them to just pick up where they left off? They'll be able to cater to the doctors like it's no issue? You're kidding yourself if that's the case. I doubt they'd be able to formulate a TPN properly.

    And I hardly think they'll "learn what's in the IV room by day 2" unless they spend some time working in there/staffing on their own. It was only meant to serve as an example as to the barriers that a retail pharmacist would encounter.

    I'm not assuming all retail pharmacists are idiots, but if you don't use certain information on a daily basis, what makes you think you can jump into a clinical pharmacist position in a hospital? Even a staffing hospital position from retail would require time to get adjusted. Then you drag the rest of your already short staff because you can't keep up. Clearly you're all experts on the field and i'm just an idiot with no understanding. Reading this thread i'm not even sure why retail pharmacists stay in retail, the world is their oyster! Let's not even think about the sick patients, i'm sure these pharmacists can catch anything a residency trained pharmacist could.
  36. croquemonsieur

    croquemonsieur

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    yikes, some kids really drink the residency kook-aid. i'm not trying to be mean (seriously), it's just that you have to be critical of what those in power (i.e. your professors) tell you. residency doesn't give you magical powers to make interventions (i.e. recommendations no one has to read or take seriously). it's just a way for hospitals to avoid paying you for a lot (not all) of your on the job training (residencies are government subsidized/fully funded, right?).

    why couldn't a retail pharmacist formulate a tpn? it's as easy as filling out a worksheet...

    don't get me wrong, i'm going to apply for residencies, but it's not for any reason other than i think i have to in order to get the job i want.
  37. joetrisman

    joetrisman

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    Don't judge me and my McHammer pants:smuggrin:
  38. joetrisman

    joetrisman

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    The rule of thumb for becoming an expert in a field is 10k hours of work (defined by the expert on experts Dr. Ericsson at FL state). So in addition to getting the constant feedback and assessments that are required for professional growth, a 2 year residency would put you at 4 years of the 5 years it takes to become a full fledged professional. The continuous feedback and assessments are crucial though to professional development and you wont find that staffing or working retail.

    Residency is just another step in professional development for personal goals and landing a job. Both roads can lead to Rome, but residency is the short mountain cliff pass with wolves and such :smuggrin:
  39. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    This is delusion at its finest. No professional development as a staff pharmacist or retail pharmacist? 2 years of residency equals a 4 year non-resident clinical pharmacist? Outrageous. That is garbage and you know it.
  40. joetrisman

    joetrisman

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    A good residency has you working ~ 80hr/wk as I've been told. Not sure how your arithmetic works but two years at 80hr/wk = four years at 40hr/wk in my book.

    And I never said no professional development, I said no continuous feedback and assessments. You're being coached during residency constantly and that's an important part of getting better. Out in the real world, you don't get that unless you have an excellent manager which in my experience are few and far between.

    /koolaid *yum* *yum*
  41. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    I don't know a single pharmacy resident or pharmacy residency that has them working 80 hours a week. MD/DO residency? Absolutely.

    No continuous feedback and assessments in retail or staff pharmacy? Are you sure you're a pharmacist? Madness.
  42. joetrisman

    joetrisman

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    I'll concede on the first point it depends on the program and I've not had first hand experience, only second hand info.

    Agree to disagree on your second point. I've worked in a few different industries and many settings in pharmacy (both rotations and otherwise). Managers are everywhere, leaders are a rarity.
  43. cycloketocaine

    cycloketocaine

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    Lol, if I worked 80 hours a week the last two years of my life (PGY1 & 2) I would be locked up in an institution. Try 45-50 a week.
  44. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010

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    I actually did around 70 a week. Here's the break down:

    40 hr/week (basic)
    10 hrs/week (come in early to work up patients, leave late to finish up)
    8 hrs/week average, (staffing duty)
    10 hours/week (projects, paper, research, presentation....)

    So you see, 70 hr week is about average for me during residency, with some weeks 60 and other 80+. I was the competitive type, and others residents weren't as gun-ho. But they paid for it near the deadlines and when job hunting.
  45. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    $40,000 for a 70hr/wk job only to find a job that pays $80-90,000? Not worth it.
  46. SkiPharmer

    SkiPharmer

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    BINGO :thumbup:
  47. cycloketocaine

    cycloketocaine

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    It was pretty worth it when I was done and had 6 job offers in a saturated metro.
  48. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    Guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I'll have my BCPS certification and an extra $100k at the end of my three year plan. Experience will triumph or at least that's what I'm betting on.
  49. VCU07

    VCU07 Member

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    SDN 10+ Year Member
    Absolutely. I worked my way up from staffing. I have been an emergency medicine pharmacist and currently work as a clinical icu specialist. I will be taking BCPS this year....a little longer than I wanted bc I spent some of that time in medicine. I don't buy any resident thinking their better than me. I have the experience I learned through the school of hard knocks. You will continually learn as a pharmacist...its our profession. Whether you get their a bit faster through residency or take your time...your no better either way (even though some residents come out with that mentality). All I want is respect for what i have accomplished and do on a daily basis. I have b/n 300-400 interventions a month and that is in a medium size hospital. Much of this seems to be forgotten now a days with the surplus.
  50. xiphoid2010

    xiphoid2010

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,506
    Location:
    Texas
    Status:
    Pharmacist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    Well, it was worth it to me. The residency credential, a bit of ambition and a little risk taking lead to a job that's not available without extensive hospital experience. The break-even vs the typical retail pay is somewhere between 2-3 years.

    Like any credential/training, it opens doors, but you can't just sit back and expect the goose that laid the golden egg to walk out of that door to you.

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